Why I Hope The RIAA Succeeds

from the no,-seriously dept

This week's post in the lack of scarcity series is going to be brief, since I'm busy at the latest DEMO show (I'll be doing a post on the interesting trends later). However, I have noticed something in the comments from the series of posts I've done. Plenty of people who seem to agree with what I'm writing make sure to add in something about how they hate the RIAA or the MPAA (sometimes in... well... colorful language). There's also a running assumption that I clearly hate these organizations -- and they equally dislike me.

While I have no clue about their feelings towards me, I should clarify my feelings towards them -- which I would hope is clear from these posts. I do not hate the recording industry or the movie industry. Quite the opposite. I'm a big fan of both music and movies. The point of this series is not to slam the organizations making these moves, but to help them. I hope they succeed, because it would be a lot easier for everyone involved. However, I do believe that their current strategies of alienating their best customers, relying on government protection, and pretending this is some sort of epic battle between good and evil aren't just doomed to fail, they're actively making things worse for themselves. What I write shouldn't be viewed as hatred for these organizations, but suggestions on how they could create for themselves a much bigger and more successful market that doesn't require everyone to hate them. I'm quite confident that the market for entertainment is only going to grow to tremendous levels going forward -- and I believe these organizations have every opportunity to capture quite a bit of it (though, they've been throwing that chance away every day). It's just a matter of recognizing the long-term strategic errors of their ways.

This seems like an obvious point to me, but given some of the discussions and comments, it seemed worth reiterating.

If you're looking to catch up on the posts in the series, I've listed them out below:

Economics Of Abundance Getting Some Well Deserved Attention
The Importance Of Zero In Destroying The Scarcity Myth Of Economics
The Economics Of Abundance Is Not A Moral Issue
A Lack Of Scarcity Has (Almost) Nothing To Do With Piracy
A Lack Of Scarcity Feeds The Long Tail By Increasing The Pie
Why The Lack Of Scarcity In Economics Is Getting More Important Now
History Repeats Itself: How The RIAA Is Like 17th Century French Button-Makers
Infinity Is Your Friend In Economics Step One To Embracing A Lack Of Scarcity: Recognize What Market You're Really In

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  1. identicon
    Tyshaun, 1 Feb 2007 @ 7:24pm

    The day, the music, died!

    I find myself having no real like or dislike of the **AA machine, but I have very definate feelings about how the void would be filled if the companies they represent failed and died into obscurity. Is the void going to be filled by a bunch of youtubers and garage bands? I know that there is great talent out there that isn't under the "oppresion" of the **AA machine, but that's actually irrelevant because as it has already been noted, the **AA aren't content producers, more like content underwriters. They promote and distribute the bulk of the media consumed in the mainstream palette, what is that going to be replaced with?

    The best answer I've heard to the question of filling the void left in the absence of the **AA jugernaut is that the internet can do it. Artists can sell directly to their fans everything from music/films to the associated merchandise. I don't disagree that this would work for some BUT it seems to me that a major element is missing, no one will get to your website to buy your stuff unless they know you exist! Marketing requires money. Also, and I don't say ths lightly, most people are sheep and would much rather have their content spoon fed and pre-sifted to them by the **AA companies than actually go through a little work and seek it out.

    So yes, the **AA practices leave a lot to be desired and in a perfect world they would die under the oppression of their DRM laden formulaic products, but the day after that happens will we all be singing that famous line "...the day, the music, died"? Maybe Mr. McLean was more of a claravoyant than a songwriter?

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